Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Whoopi Goldberg Is An Idiot

Yesterday I was disappointed with the list of writers, actors and directors I have admired who decided to sign the ridiculous Roman Polanski petition. Today I'm starting a Dwight Schrute-style shun on Whoopi Goldberg.

Jezebel collected the most idiotic of the comic's statements regarding the issue from The View the other day, and made the point that something is wrong when Sherri Shepard, the woman who thought the earth was flat, is making the most sense.

Goldberg makes a distinction between rape and "rape-rape" claiming that Polanski didn't "rape-rape" anyone. In addition, all the women agree that the victim's mother is just as guilty as the 44 year-old man who raped her daughter, because she brought her daughter to the house of a man who was known for "that kind of reputation." Funny how women always find a way to end up blaming other women. Nevermind that it was supposed to be a professional job, a photoshoot, of which a supposed-professional was paid to be in charge of, a photoshoot for a leading fashion magazine, which probably meant a pretty big career milestone for a model. (Or maybe the mother was the 1970's version of Toddlers & Tiaras in which case rape-rape is a moderately acceptable tradeoff for the crown.)

So the shun begins. No more watching The View for me, nor Jumpin' Jack Flash, nor Corrina, Corrina, nor Sister Act, nor Christ!--Ghost.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Reviewed: the Hollywood petition, and Thank You, Luc Besson

I'm a little behind on news, mostly because I hardly ever watch or read it. It started because of Dr. Weil who advises cutting out local news for the ridiculous amount of stress and fear it causes. Then, during the year and a half of writing my novel, I found that day after day spent struggling in front of a computer screen was frustrating enough, might as well cut out the everyday depression of what is going on in the rest of the world. (I'm not proud of this decision.) Part of it, too, is being a former activist and remembering how passionate certain issues made me, and also, how futile everything felt.

So, anyway! Today I read about the Hollywood petition to free Roman Polanski.

And Christ, so many people have signed it. And I'm sad about that. Wes Anderson, Pedro Almodovar, Tilda Swinton, Scorcese, Woody Allen, Milan Kundera. As if being an artist means you can't be a rapist.

If you're cringing at that word, you should also cringe at all the rest of the details; a 13 year-old, pumped full of qualudes, sodomy, etc. It seems the courts back then might have bungled the case, abused the system. Supposedly the judge had it out for Polanski. I'm told the HBO documentary explains all this. I didn't see it. Polanski served a handful of days in psychiatric evaluation, and expected to get probation and time served, but fled when he heard the judge was ready to put him away for a long time.

The argument seems to be that he's paid his dues, that it was so long ago, that the 13 year-old today wishes for his release, that she has forgiven him, that she wants to put it behind her. The man is such an important artist, they exclaim in disbelief.

I know artists who are also assholes. I started out believing, in both cases, that they were amazing, could do no wrong. But like all people, the closer you get, you see the whole picture. Some peoples' flaws are bigger, badder. You have to pay attention to them, even if they can also do beautiful things.

French director Luc Besson did not sign the petition, though he is reportedly a close friend of Polanski: "This is a man who I love a lot and know a little bit,” Mr. Besson said in a radio interview with RTL Soir. “Our daughters are good friends. But there is one justice, and that should be the same for everyone. I will let justice happen.” He added, “I don’t have any opinion on this, but I have a daughter, 13 years old. And if she was violated, nothing would be the same, even 30 years later.”

The man behind the petition, some philosopher guy named Bernard-Henri Levy, says Polanski "perhaps had committed a youthful error." (Polanski was 44 at the time of the rape.)

What makes you sign a petition asking a rapist to go free? Hm, Wes Anderson? Because all I know is that now, unfortunately, I'm not so admiring. It's the little things as well as big ones, you see, that matter.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Reviewed: Monkey Bars (Gone Bananas)

I've been waxing poetic lately. Life changes will do that to you, I think, but the purpose of this blog is reviewing things, darn it! For the betterment of peoples' lives! And that is not something to take lightly!

Now that we live close to a Trader Joe's we're pretty much feeding ourselves solely from their shelves. But...they don't carry Ben & Jerry's. And since half my diet is made up of assorted candy and Cherry Garcia FroYo, I've been hurting.

A couple days ago I stood in front of their frozen section and pondered these chocolate-dipped frozen bananas. Healthy, right? Plus, they have chocolate. And, on a stick. Win-win-win. After I bought them I kept forgetting what they were actually called and referring to them as the Monkey Bars. The first night, after dinner I thought, "I'm going to have one of those Monkey Bars."

I went into it badly. I kept thinking, this is what I'm eating instead of ice cream. And that's not really giving it a fair shot.

To be honest, it isn't that much different, consistency-wise, than a frozen, chocolate-dipped ice cream bar. But I was still thinking, this is what I'm eating instead of ice cream. And I was asking myself, is it good? Do I like it? And Joe was looking at me, and asking, is it good? Can you handle it?

I took 4 bites...and then I realized, no. No, I cannot handle it.

I put the rest of the Monkey Bar back in its package and dropped it back into the freezer, knowing full well that Joe hates bananas and also hates when I leave half-eaten things lying around. But's its a frozen half-eaten thing. And it's called Gone Bananas, which is really a much stupider name than Monkey Bars.

25 Stars. Do-able, but only if you already hate ice cream.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

In Memorium: Powerbook G4

This is all I have left of my Powerbook G4, the first computer I ever loved.

I've never really had something stolen from me like this, and it hits hard. I understand now why people are so affected by being robbed. And it could have been so much worse! I have 2 good friends who have disturbed their robbers mid-act, and in both cases it was something they needed time to get over (and, I am guessing from my recent, barely comparable experience, never completely have.)

In some ways, I had protected myself from it already. I had backed up both my finished novel and the one I am currently working on. I had backed up most of my photos and music (though unfortunately not all.) But there was tons of writing on that computer that is lost forever. Files that were merely a sentence long. Files that were a scattering of words. Files that were pages and pages and hadn't gone anywhere...yet. I thought I would come back to it.

It's silly, I know, but the things I miss most about that computer are these two things:

the E key, which was worn down to a dark grey spot,

the fortune cookie fortune I had taped just above my screen that read, "It's up to you to clarify." Half of the time I spent writing my book was staring at that little phrase. It's up to me, I would think, all wild-eyed, and give it some crazy-profound meaning that worked just well enough in my writing-adled mind to keep me in my seat for a little bit longer. Silly me.

Oh my, I miss it.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Reviewed: Spiders

So we left New York, where the cockroach was king, for Seattle, where yesterday we killed what people around here call a "giant house spider" but might as well be called a terrifying, horrifying, disgusting spider that should not be in my house.

The surprising thing is, I'm already over it. Joe's the one with the fear of spiders and he's gone manic. We bought a spray yesterday at noon and today before noon it is already almost gone. He has patrolled the apartment endlessly. He keeps encouraging me to look for spiders so that we can "handle the problem" though I'm not sure there really is a problem.

There are things I'm scared of worse than spiders. Snakes are towards the top of the list. Ghosts, of course, are number one. I would find it a much bigger problem to find that this apartment was haunted by ghosts instead of a spiders. (Criminy, this building is over 100 years old.)

I'm also scared of robbers. Thieves. Burglars. No good criminals.

We've tackled this topic before here on Starred Review in the form of my paranoia. And in the meantime, my darling Powerbook was stolen. Right out from under my nose the day we moved out of New York. I know exactly when it happened and exactly who did it, but unfortunately since the thief covered his tracks so well, I didn't even notice it was missing until the next day when we were in Hazleton, Pennsylvania.

If you can't file a police report in person the NYPD won't do anything but listen to me rant and cry and plea with them on the phone. I did all three to no avail.

The thief is a sketchy friend of my downstairs neighbor, Scott, a 40 year-old, no-good, alcoholic skinhead with a Hitler moustache whose apartment is a revolving door of 19 year-old small time drug dealers who think they are badass.

His name is Angel.
He lives in the building two doors down from my old one, which was at 487 5th Avenue in Brooklyn.
He is a 5'9, light-skinned Hispanic with dark hair and very noticeable light blue eyes.
He has a tattoo on his left forearm.

He was recently released from jail for stealing mail, and also for defecating in front of a woman's door. (This last act was caught on camera.)

I've got lots of revenge fantasies, but unfortunately none of them will happen. But if you happen to see him, I wouldn't mind if you called him a useless, despicable f*ck.